'Prepare for new elections'

Dep. Health Min. Litzman criticizes party for internal arguments, warns Israel may be headed to new elections.

Michal Levi ,

Yakov Litzman
Yakov Litzman
Kobi Richter/TPS

The heads of the Agudat Yisrael faction of the Ashkenazic-haredi UTJ party met Tuesday night in Jerusalem in order to discuss the political deadlock.

According to them, there is a very real possibility that Israel will be forced to hold a third round of elections.

Deputy Health Minister Yakov Litzman noted his party's disagreements with the UTJ's Degel Hatorah faction and said: "In the past few days I've heard arguments from Degel and Aguda regarding who is larger. What does it matter? We anyways have a ten-year agreement right now."

"Why should we fight now? Why do we need all the arguments now? Why do we need all the discussions now? I have a lot what to say, a lot what to tell. But it could be that we're headed towards elections."

Litzman also explained whey he has not met Blue and White Chairman MK Benny Gantz.

"We've seen their demands, other than breaking up the bloc," he said. "It's not a secret that Gantz wants to meet. I told him that I have two representatives, Ministers [Yariv] Levin and [Ze'ev] Elkin. I told him that I don't see a reason to meet, we trust Elkin and Levin. I hope that everyone refuses to talk to Gantz just like I did, because there's no reason to act otherwise. I haven't talked to them and I'm not talking to them."

"They want to uproot everything we've done and achieved in the previous Knesset, and today at the Western Wall. I'm not even talking about enlistment, Shabbat, and other things. But they're constantly trying to ensure that we won't be in the coalition - it doesn't matter, we can be in the opposition. We need to prepare for another round of elections."

Deputy Health Minister Meir Porush added: "Everyone is asking if we're about to hold a third round of elections. If so, who knows what the results will be. There isn't a single person who has an answer for that. There aren't even coalition negotiations with [Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu's bloc and the haredi and religious parties. There's a bloc that's against us, against all haredi and Religious Zionist Judaism."

"This is a new situation, a situation which requires us to do new preparations. Not preparations for elections. The thinking needs to be about more than elections. This new situation in which there is a large bloc which encourages the central activities out of a desire to prevent haredi Judaism from influencing government offices - this is a situation which we haven't seen before."

MK Yisrael Eichler said: "We have reached a situation where in the Land of Israel there are those who wish to eliminate Judaism. They talk about forming a government without haredim and religious people. And despite their desires we have merited that haredi Judaism is stable and on its feet. If the haredi parties are not included int he coalition, we will examine the possibility of new elections."



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